| 14.4°C Dublin

‘When you wipe bums all day you can’t really get an ego’ - Vogue Williams on how she manages business, fame and motherhood

Vogue Williams is a woman of many talents – and many jobs. The super busy, soon-to-be mum-of-three looks back on her ‘hilarious’ Fade Street days; talks about her friendship with podcast co-host Joanne McNally, and how, these days, she’s usually tucked up in bed by 7pm

Close

"I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

"I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

“Listen, it can be hectic some weeks but I only do things I really love," says Vogue, who is wearing a dress from her collection for Little Mistress, see little-mistress.com

“Listen, it can be hectic some weeks but I only do things I really love," says Vogue, who is wearing a dress from her collection for Little Mistress, see little-mistress.com

Vogue Williams is a dairy ambassador for the National Dairy Council. Photo: Laurence McMahon

Vogue Williams is a dairy ambassador for the National Dairy Council. Photo: Laurence McMahon

/

"I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

The morning I speak to Vogue Williams, the sky is blue. Cold, but crisp and interesting. She’s still made it to the gym, of course. “I was supposed to be walking Winnie,” she says — fans will know of her beloved beagle-Cavalier cross, Winston — “but I have to train before I go. His little face is sulking at me as I speak to you.”

It’s mid-January and I’m her last work commitment before she jets off to the Maldives later in the afternoon with husband Spencer Matthews, the Made In Chelsea alumnus she married in June 2018. She knows people will have opinions on her trip. “I just want to tell people that I’m going on holidays in January,” she recently warned the listeners of My Therapist Ghosted Me, the wildly popular podcast she hosts with comedian Joanne McNally. “I’ve been dying to go, I’ve had a mental December and I’m pregnant — so please don’t give out to me!”

When your name is Vogue, one imagines that life might come easy. Born in October 1985 to Sandra and Freddie (who passed away in 2010) she is the youngest of three siblings, a family dynamic she’s on the way to recreating in her own home. She’s expecting a boy in April, a sibling for Theodore (three) and Gigi (one). But don’t ask her how she’s feeling.

Close

“Listen, it can be hectic some weeks but I only do things I really love," says Vogue, who is wearing a dress from her collection for Little Mistress, see little-mistress.com

“Listen, it can be hectic some weeks but I only do things I really love," says Vogue, who is wearing a dress from her collection for Little Mistress, see little-mistress.com

“Listen, it can be hectic some weeks but I only do things I really love," says Vogue, who is wearing a dress from her collection for Little Mistress, see little-mistress.com

“Desperate,” she laughs. “It’s so hard. I meet people who love being pregnant and just think, more power to them. And I do feel very lucky to be pregnant, but I just feel so sick. And this time, because it’s a boy, I thought I’d stop being sick after 17 weeks like I did with Theodore, but it’s week 26 now and there’s no let-up yet! At the same time, I’m Covid-free and going away this evening so should probably keep my mouth shut.”

While Matthews recently confirmed that baby number-three’s name has been chosen, Williams’ own unusual first name is still a bit of an anomaly.

“I kind of still wonder about it myself. My mum was like, ‘Oh, your grandmother heard somebody in the shop called Vogue’, and I’m just like, ‘I don’t buy it’. I’ve never met another one but a friend of a friend has called her daughter Vogue, so there are more of us out there! I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

She’s already had many guises, from Celtic Tiger cool girl to columnist, yet the role that proves most in sync is that of unflappable podcast host, alongside the aforementioned McNally. The pair provide pain and glee in equal measure, reciting laugh-out-loud tales of personal stories, from one-night stands to taxidermy.

It feels like a glimpse into Vogue and McNally’s genuine friendship — and it’s obviously working. My Therapist Ghosted Me was recently shortlisted for a National Comedy Award in the UK and boasts some three million listeners weekly. The pair even recently committed to a second weekly segment called MTGM EXTRA!, releasing an additional bout of content to cater for their most voracious listeners.

“It’s been kind of amazing,” Williams says. “The messages you get from people and those who come up to you in the street saying you’ve made their day or took the sting out of a really difficult time. Especially because it kind of feels like I’m just chatting with my mates.

Video of the Day

Close

Vogue Williams is a dairy ambassador for the National Dairy Council. Photo: Laurence McMahon

Vogue Williams is a dairy ambassador for the National Dairy Council. Photo: Laurence McMahon

Vogue Williams is a dairy ambassador for the National Dairy Council. Photo: Laurence McMahon

“Joanne is a genuine friend — people actually often think we’re related — and it’s just so much fun to do. Listening to Joanne talk about her day has me dying laughing.”

It’s a match made in heaven — or noughties’ Dublin more specifically, as the pair met when they were probably about 18, says Williams, back in her Fade Street days. “We were all in the same group. We were never that close back then, to be honest. But then she moved over to London and did a bit of couch-surfing as she was still deciding whether she wanted to live here. I had a spare room at the time and asked did she want to stay and the rest is history. Now I’ll often find her in my basement or knee-deep in piles of clothes in my bedroom.”

It would be remiss of me to not ask Williams about Fade Street. It’s now 11 years since the RTÉ show aired (“God, I’m so old”). The Hills-inspired reality-TV series followed Williams and three others (Cici Cavanagh, Louise Johnston and Danielle Robinson) as they navigated careers and social lives in Dublin.

It sparked a fire in the belly of the capital, linking us to Hollywood-adjacent storylines and high-octane drama by way of familiar endeavours such as Oxegen tickets and Grafton Street photocalls. It was “iconic and accidentally hilarious” a recent Irish Independent article suggested, something Williams agrees with, albeit hesitantly.

“I find the whole thing hilarious. I’m actually not at all embarrassed by it. I think it’s kind of cute, looking back at us all thinking we were so grown-up. It would never get made now, I don’t think.”

She doesn’t really keep in touch with the girls, but they never did, really. “Not in a bad way or anything, I have just always had my own friends.” Those friends are a big reason why she flies home from London every month or two. She does not hold back about her love of her home town of Howth and her desire to find a forever home there. She’s often taken husband Matthews by surprise by regaling him with plans to enrol the children in Irish schools.

Close

Vogue Williams

Vogue Williams

Vogue Williams

“I woke up this morning thinking I was going to lunch,” he says in a clip from their E4 show, Spencer, Vogue and Baby Too, as the camera pans to reveal the couple mid-way through a Howth house viewing (they bought a property in the seaside Dublin suburb in 2020).

Williams’ latest show is the warm-hearted, transformational series Send Nudes, set to air on E4 later this year. According to the press release, the 10-episode series will focus on body hang-ups, celebrating differences and showing individuals how they might look in the future, using 3D animation.

“What I’m most looking forward to is that the show is going to be super positive, celebrating all body shapes and sizes.

“And our panel of experts are on hand to give the most considered advice to try and help contestants only make choices that are informed and are their own final decisions,” Williams has said.

“And as much as I like to normally get stuck into production, I will remain fully clothed throughout!”

Williams is unusual among the current generation of celebrities here and in the UK in that she successfully straddles the worlds of both glam gal and yummy mummy without being pigeon-holed into either category.

For instance, she’s also, this year, dipping her toe into the literary world. Williams’ first children’s picture book, Jump For The Stars, will be released via New Frontier Publishing in October 2022. Illustrated by Tilia Rand-Bell, the story follows 14 super-active little children who don’t stop moving from morning to night, as they spend their day having fun, the synopsis explains.

And if that’s not enough, Williams also runs a highly successful self-tan brand; fundraises with Deliveroo to raise money for the Dublin Simon Community; is a regular presenter on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch; hosts hugely successful Instagram Live exercise work-outs and a second podcast with her husband; launched a 15-piece childrenswear collaboration with Roco, and collaborated with fashion brand Little Mistress for six bi-monthly capsule collections, each curated with up to 15 ‘seasonal, trend-led’ pieces. Just to research her projects is to feel overwhelmed. Then again, they say if you want something done, ask a busy mother.

“She’s unreal,” personal trainer and friend John Belton says. “I’ve worked with lots of different, very successful people during my time and Vogue shares all the same personality traits as them. She’s in the category of what I call a ‘corporate athlete’, which is very similar to a high-performing athlete on a rugby pitch or running track. We were actually away recording for her Gymondo [an online health and fitness platform] recently, and in our spare time, I was sitting down gathering my thoughts, and she was recording podcast introductions and sorting out her schedule with her manager.”

The question is, does she sleep? “Very well, actually,” Williams says, laughing. “I would say I work a lot and spend a lot of time with my family but I just don’t socialise very often, probably not as much as I should.” Balance is something she struggles with, she admits. “December was crazy busy, but then I had a week off and that was glorious. A week off with two kids, but still!”

Close

"I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

"I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

"I got slagged so badly for it when I was a teenager but I just can’t imagine what it’s like to have a baby called Vogue. It must have been so weird. Or like when I’m a granny — am I gonna be Granny Vogue?”

Everything sort of falls into place, she assures me. “The book was a different time to clothing edits and to the podcasts, but I suppose none of that could be done so seamlessly without my team — they’re amazing.

“Listen, it can be hectic some weeks but I only do things I really love,” she adds, on message “and when you feel so appreciative for what you’re doing, you do feel really motivated to do them.”

When she does relax, amazingly, it often involves a pint of milk. Usually in the bath. Williams may not seem like the demographic of a pint-of-milk drinker — dairy has been somewhat vilified over the past decade — but it’s a true passion. Especially now that she’s working as an ambassador for the National Dairy Council.

“Milk has genuinely always been my thing. That and Dib Dabs,” she says, laughing. “I buy them in bulk on Amazon! I also actually crave cheese and mayonnaise on toast when I’m pregnant, so I had to pull back on that during my last pregnancy so I didn’t overdo it. But, I’ll often wonder whether I could get away with ordering a pint of milk with my dinner in a restaurant.

“Sometimes I hold off until I get home, but not always. Honestly, having a pint of milk — or even a whole dinner — in the bath is where you’ll find me on a day off. I got one of those trays that you can use to hold food for £8 — changed my life.”

It all begins to make sense. Of course, she can manage to do it all with that amount of calcium in her system. Perhaps that’s why she always looks so ready for anything. Or maybe it’s the tan...

Chatting to Williams, you get the feeling that you could almost tell her anything. She’s remarkably down-to-earth, despite incessant media coverage — I counted 12 new tabloid stories about her the morning we spoke.

This is something she repeatedly credits to an Irish childhood. It’s how we show love, she insists. “You can’t get away with anything there — and that actually ends up being a good thing. Also, when you wipe bums all day, you can’t really get an ego.”

It’s this energy that makes her catnip for audiences — be they fitness-driven, new parents or just keen for a laugh. She also shares organically, opting to show her children’s faces online and speaking openly about days when clothes no longer fit her changing body.

“It’s all definitely organic, but I suppose the only thing I try to commit to online is positivity. Life is annoying enough and I don’t need to be seeing that during a scroll in the bath!

“I think that’s the main reason I have a really nice following online because I only post positive things and nothing very controversial. Saying that, I did snap back at someone who said something about Spenny [Matthews] the other day, but I’m hardly the right person to be saying that to, am I?”

As I type, I imagine Williams whizzing around their London home, list-checking every item they need before take-off for the Maldives. It’s the way she lives her life — ensuring everything for everybody, while remarkably staying upright. Could be the dairy, could be Matthews, could also be her love of getting to bed by 7pm. “Listen, I get slagged for it so badly, but don’t knock it until you try it!”

Vogue Williams is an ambassador with the National Dairy Council for 2022. See ndc.ie



Most Watched





Privacy